Day 1 – Sabrosa - on the way to the Douro Wine Region and its famous vineyards
Start your journey with a transfer from Porto airport to Sabrosa, a small town known for being the birthplace of Fernão de Magalhães, the first navigator to circumnavigate the world. Enjoy the natural beauty of this village surrounded by vineyards, and situated at one of the entrances to the demarcated Douro Valley region. The vineyards in the background and the tranquillity of this place set the tone for what you can expect from this itinerary.
Day 2 – Sabrosa – the essence of the Douro Region with its splendid scenery, vineyards and olive groves
Set off on a circular walk around Sabrosa along ancient country lanes and tracks. Start with the houses in the centre of the town, which will give way to a green landscape of pine trees and vineyards. You will pass by the first wine estates, the properties where the vineyards are cultivated and where the house is a dwelling and sometimes also the winery. The scenery is of tranquillity and calm, what we so much look for to escape the usual stress of modern life. In Fermentões, the view over the undulating mantle of vineyards is stunning. The Douro starting to show its charms!
With the optional package, you can familiarise yourself with the more humane and authentic nature of olive oil production with a visit and tasting at a cosy small producer.
Day 3 – Provesende – village of baroque and neoclassic manor houses
Depart from Sabrosa on charming rustic stone paths between wine estates where wine is born and made. The stone in the region is schist, which man managed to break by hand to make the soil and the walls of the terraces. After the village of Celeirós the trail reveals all the grandeur of the majestic Douro landscape: vineyards cover the hills and the wine estates bear the names and brands of producers. The trail leads to the superb viewpoint of Monte S. Domingos where we have one of the best landscapes of the whole region. The route ends in Provesende, a well-preserved historical wine-growing village with a rich heritage, where we find the largest concentration of noble houses in the Douro, with their imposing baroque and neoclassical façades from the 16th to 18th centuries.
The aroma of fresh bread fresh from the bakery's wood-fired oven, the handicraft shops with pieces from local artisans, are just some of the interesting points to explore.
As an optional extra, you can include a visit to a Port Douro winemaking estate. Find a family atmosphere and enjoy special tastings, while learning the production processes of their remarkable wines.
Day 4 – Lalim – world-famous terraced vineyards and the village of Pinhão
Today’s hike connects Provesende to Pinhão along a medieval road that will take you down the hillsides to the riverside, always accompanied by the admirable work of man who built the terraces, stone by stone. Pinhão, considered to be the geographic centre of the Douro Wine Region, is the regional headquarters for many of the best-known Port and Douro winemaking estates. Located between the Douro and the Pinhão rivers, it is one of the most picturesque villages in Portugal. The train station, built at the end of the 19th century and decorated with beautiful hand painted tiles describing life in the region, is especially worthy of a visit. You will have the option of a visit and tasting of the exceptional wines produced at one of the fascinating wineries.
From Pinhão, take a ride on a typical Rabelo boat, identical to the craft that for centuries carried the young Port wine down the Douro river to the warehouses in Vila Nova de Gaia, across from Porto. After you disembark, you will be transferred to your final destination of the day, Lalim. This is a chance to bask in the peace and quiet of this rural town and to renew your energies for what is waiting for you!
Day 5 – Lalim – mountain villages of demons and ancestral traditions
This day we shall take a circular route up and down hills and valleys, beginning at and returning to Lalim. The entire walk brings you in touch with nature as you cross areas of small farms, pine groves and several picturesque villages with granite-built houses along stone streets. From the highest point of the trail you will delight in the superb views over the land, dotted with multiple small medieval bridges over rivers and streams. Lazarim is a small village whose stones ooze magic and witchcraft, which can also be seen in the famous wooden masks carved by local craftsmen for the Carnival celebrations, considered the most genuine of their kind in Portugal. These masks represent demons and other supernatural beings, an expression of the ancient cultures that are still alive in the region. A visit to the Iberian Mask Interpretative Centre and a meeting with local craftsmen will be truly memorable!
Day 6 – Lamego, a city of monuments in the Douro Region
It is time to bid farewell to Lalim. Amble along small roads and paths amongst villages, vineyards and vast apple orchards famous for the perfume of their fruit. At the small local café, ring the bell to call the owner, who will welcome you with open arms. This is where the Cistercian monks produced wine during the 12th century, where they shaped the environment and worked the land, cultivated their vines and created winemaking techniques and traditions that have been handed down to this day. Here you will find some of the finest Portuguese sparkling wines. Before you reach Lamego, you may wish to choose the option to visit and taste those made in a historic winery. Your final destination, the historic city of Lamego, boasts the richest architectural heritage in the Douro Region. Dating from the Middle Ages are the castle, at the top of the city, and most especially the beautiful cathedral with its sumptuous monumental baroque staircase. Climb up the 686 steps surrounded by lush gardens and richly decorated with works of art: statues, obelisks, fountains and handcrafted decorative tile panels.
Day 7 – Cambres, along the "Caminho de Santiago" and historic wineries
Beginning on the streets of central Lamego, this last trail takes you partly along one of the secular pilgrims’ ways in the interior of Portugal as they make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Those who travel them today experience life-time challenges, attractions and lessons. Your journey will be accompanied by the impressive environment of vineyards and historic wine estates, as it was here that the first great vineyards in the winemaking region were planted during the 12th century. Your goal is Cambres, a town surrounded by a green blanket of vineyards, near Régua, the capital city of the Douro Wine Region. Attractive stone-paved roads take you past famous wine estates, where you may choose to visit and taste Port and Douro wines. Live this last day in your itinerary to the fullest, one that will live on as being memorable for the most fantastic landscapes and wines that Portugal has to offer!
Day 8 – Departure
Transfer back to Porto Airport.
End of your journey.